The McGill Fine Arts Council’s rendition of the popular all-night art celebration Nuit Blanche will be held on Thursday in the Shatner Building. Now in its third year, the event takes over all four floors of the building from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., bringing together artists from all disciplines, including musicians, jewellery designers, and poets, for an (almost) all-night party.
Lucy Satzewich, co-commissioner of the Fine Arts Council (FAC), a group that funds the artistic community at McGill, is one of the organizers of Nuit Blanche.
“It’s a way to get all of the art groups on campus together for one big night of fun, showing their work and doing workshops,” Satzewich says. “It’s also good publicity for the different art groups as well, since we have over 20 performers and five to 10 workshops and crafts put on by different clubs and groups.”
Almost every artistic medium will be present at the event, which is based on the all-night arts festival hosted by cities and museums around the world. Montreal’s Nuit Blanche was held on February 27, and included theatres, galleries, museums, and street performers. McGill’s Nuit Blanche aims for the same diversity, and is a rare chance to celebrate the fine arts culture at McGill.
“McGill Improv is doing a workshop; there’s a play going on in Player’s by some McGill alumni who are going to do a mask-making workshop, which should be cool,” says Satzewich. “The Fine Arts Council is running some fun, low-key things as well, like we’re doing cookie decorating and postcard making, and the Fine Arts Club is doing a silkscreening workshop and other fun communal drawings and stuff like that.”
Friends with Food¬, who are putting out a cookbook of student submissions, will be holding a recipe-writing workshop along with Tribune food columnist Adam Levine. At the same time, jewellery and crafts by McGill artists will be sold throughout the night.
This isn’t just a craft fair though; FAC is hoping for some Dionysian debauchery, selling $2 beer all night. To keep the party going, bands will be doing half-hour sets in Gert’s, while McGill’s a cappella groups, including Effusion, Solstice, and dance group Urban Groove, will be doing performances and workshops in the ballroom.
Chris Ploss, U3 Biochemistry, who attended FAC’s Nuit Blanche last year, was impressed by the turnout.
“Nuit Blanche was a lot of fun; I’ve rarely seen Gert’s that packed,” Ploss says. “I liked how there was something to do on every floor.”
Events will all run simultaneously throughout the night, but there will be a detailed schedule online and handed out at the door so attendees can plan to visit each area they’re interested in, whether it’s last year’s films from TVMcGill’s Fokus Film Festival or the laid back atmosphere of The Veg’s poetry readings in the student lounge.
FAC was very happy with last year’s turnout of around 1,000 people, and they expect similar interest this year.
“I think it’s a good way for especially new students to go to Nuit Blanche and hear about the whole whack of things that campus has to offer,” Satzewich says.
Nuit Blanche runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the Shatner Building on March 11. For more information visit FAC’s Nuit Blanche Facebook page.